Crescent Arts Centre Announces the 14th Edition of the Belfast Book Festival

Crescent Arts Centre is gearing up to host the 14th edition of the Belfast Book Festival, which takes place from 6th – 13th June 2024.  In the iconic Victorian building on University Road, the festival promises an array of events and activities tailored for both adults and children. The festival will be a celebration of the finest in fiction, non-fiction, and spoken word.

Sophie Hayles, Chief Executive of Crescent Arts Centre and Belfast Book Festival expressed her excitement about bringing together enthusiasts of arts and literature once again. “We are thrilled to welcome visitors to the 14th edition of the Belfast Book Festival here at Crescent Arts Centre – come on in to our beautiful South Belfast home.

Highlights of the Festival

Highlights of the festival include an evening with Margaret Drabble, in conversation with Wendy Erskine reflecting on seven decades of writing; and Colm Tóibín discussing the highly anticipated sequel to Brooklyn, titled Long Island, with Festival Patron Lucy Caldwell.

Join a special live edition of RTÉ Sunday Miscellany with new writing from a line-up that includes Jan Carson and Glenn Patterson.

Other writers at the Festival include Sinéad Gleeson, Kevin Barry, Elaine Feeney, Martin Doyle, Paul Lynch, Louise Kennedy, Fergal Keane, Suzi Ronson, Nicola Tallant, AC Grayling, and Eimear Ryan.

Young Readers

There’s plenty for young people –  particularly on Saturday, June 8th  – an audience with Jacqueline Wilson, readings with Martin Waddell accompanied by an exhibition celebrating his picture books, and launches of new works from Northern Ireland talents Ashling Lindsay and Colleen Larmour.


The Festival’s poetry programme features celebrated US poet Marie Howe; Belfast’s Dawn Watson, Scott McKendry and Micheál McCann.

Other Activities

Alongside bookable events there’s a range of free/drop-in activities including film poem screenings, exhibitions, a ‘Little Library’, Room to Write, Storytellers Corner and a Poetry Jukebox.

To enhance accessibility to the Belfast Book Festival, organisers are adopting a “Pay What You Decide” model. Sophie Hayles elaborated on this initiative, stating, “For the third consecutive year, we’re implementing the ‘pay what you decide’ approach to foster broader engagement with the festival, especially among individuals who may not typically attend such events. Our aim is to inspire attendees to explore sessions outside their usual preferences, thus invigorating the arts sector and facilitating connections between writers, artists, and new audiences.”

Belfast Book Festival has pioneered panel-led curation in Ireland, with this year’s programming associates including Neil Hegarty and Mícheál McCann. Festival director Sophie Hayles commented, “Panel-led curation is now the norm in many countries: and at Belfast Book Festival we have witnessed how very well it works, providing access to a range of ideas, connections, and creative input”.

Belfast Book Festival runs at the Crescent Arts Centre from 6th – 13th June, and booking is now open at